Article written by Fleur Boomsma
It’s a warm sundown at Withrow Park. The sun feels pleasant on the skin and the wind feels like a soft breeze. It’s a perfect evening to watch the annual Dusk Dances performances at the park. You’ve brought a few lawn chairs and your friends brought picnic blankets to sit on. The live band starts playing soft music and Hannah Shira-Naiman is about to teach the audience square dancing. You get to interact with other community members, and this is a great start of the night.
By 7:30 p.m., the park was filled with neighbors and other community members prepared to watch the five dance performances. Dusk Dances’ host, Lisa Anne Ross, also known as Madame Beaucoup, brought out her most colorful red (with lots of sparkles) costume. Let’s not forget to talk about her sassy and charismatic character! It gives you a big laugh, that’s for sure.
At the end of each performance, Madame Beaucoup blows a (very funny) whistle which indicates that you should follow her and the volunteers to the next dance act. Everyone hurries to get the best seat possible, but regardless where you stand or sit; you’re able to enjoy the show. There’s also the ability to donate (it’s a pay what you can basis) and purchase drinks or popcorn from the volunteers.
This is a special year for Dusk Dances because it’s their 25th year celebrating this dance festival! The festival director, Sylvie Bouchard incorporated community members in a dance piece called Imprint, which is about “acknowledgement of interconnectivity and the weavings of our lives.”
However, one of my favourite pieces of this year’s festival is called “Moving Parts.” It involves a moving choir and dancers that sing about many controversial concerns that are going on in today’s society. You’ll have to find out for yourself and trust me, it’s an eye opener. Dusk Dances describes this piece as:
“We find the world in difficult times where people are becoming increasingly polarized, taking sides with rancour and falling for simplistic solutions. We are curious about how to embrace complexity with a skill and race, and how to stay open, kind and uplifted in the midst of turbulent times.”
Whether this is your first or fifth time coming to Dusk Dances, they always leave you feeling impressed and wowed. It’s a great way to spend a summer evening outdoors with your family and friends.
Lewis + Company is proud to once again support and sponsor this incredible community event! Dusk Dances celebrates August 4-11, nightly at 7 p.m.
Dusk Dances 2019
Located south of the Danforth, between Logan and Carlaw in Toronto, ON.
Closest TTC subway station: Chester.
More info: 647-671-0075